Donald Trump‘s alleged pressure campaign on Ukraine was previously compared to a “vintage mob operation,” with Rudy Giuliani acting as a lieutenant conveying the president’s orders to other foot soldiers involved. While speaking to Joy Reid on MSNBC’s AM Joy, national security analyst Malcolm Nance made a similar comparison while discussing the president’s desire to campaign with Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher and pardoned Army veterans Clint Lorance and Matthew Golsteyn, Breitbart reports.
“Donald Trump wants this type of person around him. He thinks he’s a mafia boss and a head of the criminal clan and he thinks having these brutal foot soldiers around him is macho, it is nothing, it is dishonorable and cowardly.”
During the talk, Nance said that Trump has an affinity for war criminals and suggests that the president believes “warfighter” is a new term that he has adopted. The 58-year old noted that Trump is a “five-time draft dodger” that refused to serve in the military — a decision, Nance believes, would have “tested” Trump’s “level as a man.” The American author took things a step further and suggested Trump “hid behind his father” to avoid being thrust into a war that would have required him to make “tough, moral decisions.”
.@MalcolmNance: I am a war fighter. I have served in every war in combat action since 1981 minus the invasion of Panama and Grenada. So I know what it takes to… serve with honor… #AMJoy pic.twitter.com/9RLagBPhcg
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) December 1, 2019
Per David Cay Johnston in Politico, Trump’s mob ties go back years. The real estate mogul reportedly enlisted the services of a company controlled by mobsters Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano to build Trump Tower and Trump Plaza in Manhattan. A subsequent investigation concluded that Trump Plaza likely had connections to racketeering — links that allegedly worked in the property’s favor.
According to Johnston, no other candidate in the 2016 race came close to Trump’s reported dealings with “mobsters, swindlers, and other crooks.” Johnston notes that the scandal of President Warren G. Harding’s administration and Teapot Dome, which led to the imprisonment of the White House’s interior secretary, comes closest. But Johnston claims that even this connection doesn’t compare to Trump because Harding’s associates — outside of the scandal — were reportedly “legitimate businessmen.”
Trump, on the other hand, is alleged to have personally met with Salerno at the home of notorious New York fixer Roy Cohn.
“This came at a time when other developers in New York were pleading with the FBI to free them of mob control of the concrete business,” Johnston wrote.
Joyce White Vance, a law professor and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, believes that the alleged pressure campaign that Trump is accused of running with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, mirrors the structure of vintage mafia. According to Vance, Trump headed the operation, using Giuliani to carry out his orders so the president need not get too directly involved.